Wednesday, June 22, 2011

MacGyver Knife - Sewing Legend: Well crafted garage rock

An indie rock outfit from Cape Town, MacGyver Knife makes my happy place that much happier. Less pop and more garage rock, MacGyver Knife has not fallen prey to the horrifying electro trend that seems to be creeping into supposed rock bands' tracks. This glorious denial of trend following spells one thing to me: sustainability.
MacGyver Knife is true to their own vision, and are quick to reject tracks that are too familiar, according to the band. This is clear. Their debut album, Sewing Legend, is well crafted, original and gritty.
MacGyver Knife has deftly built a bridge between 90s garage rock and a more modern sound that reminds me of Float On stage Modest Mouse. While we're on that topic, MacGyver Knife could easily share a stage with Modest Mouse and the Shins and hold their own. I do not doubt this for a second.
Sewing Legend, released on 25 May 2011, is a well-balanced mix of swaying melodies, deft guitar work, and catchy beats. Now We're Even is easily one of my favourites, and Wake Up the Morning actually caused me to sit back, close my eyes and listen. A feat not many SA bands have managed.
I can't wait until this band gets gigging in Gauteng. A live show simply has to be in my future. With an MK Awards nomination already under the belt, MacGyver Knife most certainly is in yours. 

For more info visit: www.macgyverknife.com

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie - Codes and Keys: Ethereal, Adventurous, Charming, Bittersweet

Like everyone else in South Africa I really only took notice of Death Cab for Cutie when their 5th album, Plans, was released in 2005. The super EMO I Will Follow You Into the Dark rocketed them briefly into the SA limelight. Watery and badly aimed as it is.
To this day, Plans remains one of my favourite albums to chill to, and Death Cab's masterpiece.
Codes and Keys, released today, comes very close to dethroning Plans from its place in my heart. It is well crafted, bittersweet and searching. The boys have always been philosophical in their approach to lyrics and Codes and Keys is no different.
As always, each track is well structured and the harmonies are effortless. The drama and the steady swell as each track builds to a crescendo will draw anyone in. Codes and Keys, while not quite up to the standards of Plans, is remarkable nonetheless. It has a quirkiness and an adventurous nature that we haven't seen before. They have even managed to do what many bands have not in this age of electro-invasion – incorporate a bit of 80s keyboard without losing their own vision.
The title track is a joyful ditty that puts me in mind of a stereotypical American 60s school dance. You Are a Tourist is catchy with a bounce you can't help but tap your feet to. The guitar riff gets into your head and has you bopping all day (or week). Monday Monday demonstrates the weird uncertain optimism that is evident in many a Death Cab track. Stay Young, Go Dancing - the final track on the album - is also the biggest surprise. It is boundlessly cheerful. And simply so. No strings attached.
Codes and Keys tells a fantastic story and draws you in. Great company for the cold winter months. So hop onto Amazon or iTunes and get it. Get it now.

You can preview the album here: http://n.pr/kuNLl0

Visit www.deathcabforcutie.com for more on the band.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Kills - Blood Pressures: Be still, my beating heart

On first listen Blood Pressures by The Kills was f*cking my mind, man. Good and proper.
With my somewhat limited knowledge of the Atlantic-spanning band that was doing what the Ting Tings do long before they were and that much better, the solid, sexy, raw rockness of Blood Pressures took me a while to wrap my head around. And just as I thought I understood what was happening, along comes The Last Goodbye, straight from a Chicago blues club. Eish, mara wena. It is sultry, it is classy, it is velvety and delicious.
But no, that was not the last surprise. Straight after that comes Damned If She Do - a track that would have been just as comfortable on 2005's No Wow. Having had a brief love affair with The Good Ones – an enthralling single off that album – this was more along the lines of what I was expecting. 
Like any girl that has been thoroughly messed around and left exhausted and confused, I am in love. This time it's for keeps.
The Kills have always been worth a listen, and the rock edge has always been there. It's just that much stronger now than ever before. Their choons are carefully crafted and fit together like Inca brickwork. No gaps here, gazi. Vocalist Alison Mosshart's voice is deep and strong, and is clearly comfortable doing anything. There's a rougher edge to it, a touch of husk, that draws you in. There's something of interest to every song, from a visit to melancholy with Wild Charms, to the aggression of Nail In My Coffin. The album would work just as well accompanying your drive to work as it would during a workout.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to be alone with my album.

For more on The Kills visit www.thekills.tv

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dustland - Horizon: A fireball in your candyfloss

I love it when a tip pans out. It's always so embarrassing if someone is all 'This is awesome' and you have to tell them they're a dumbass. Happily this is not the case with a link sent to us by Nathan Yates.
The resultant video – Dustland's Horizon - was enough to awaken me from my lethargy and get me all excited about the music industry again.

Except for begging to be compared to The Killers by choice of band name, I can't find fault with this Liverpudlian trio. And since they beg, I shall compare.
Their look is streamlined and pulled together. But unlike Brandon Flowers (who just comes off as a pretentious doos), in Dustland it's believable, even effortless.
The single, Horizon, hits you like Hot Fuss. You can't help but sit up and take notice. Unlike Hot Fuss, Horizon has a darker edge and seems sustainable. 
While there's a little keyboard action, it's not overly electro and rather puts one in mind of Depeche Mode.
Lead vocalist Adam Bray's voice is rich, full and rounded. You could bath in that voice if you were that way inclined. The whole lot comes together beautifully and I cannot wait to hear more from them.


For more on Dustland visit www.dustland.co.uk or find them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Dustland?sk=wall#!/Dustland?sk=info

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Southeast Engine: Nailing the art of the concept album

Southeast Engine © bradsearles
Band: Southeast Engine
Origin: Athens, Ohio, US
Genre: Indie/folk rock

The fact that Southeast Engine recorded From the Forest to the Sea live to analogue tape in a forsaken, 1800s middle school auditorium piqued my interest. I then found out that the band tends to make concept albums, which immediately made me beam with respect and cemented my desire to listen to each and every album from beginning to end.

Southeast Engine’s new album, Canary, which is available on CD and limited edition cassette (cassette!?), centres around the Great Depression and an Appalachian family’s struggle to survive. Sounds dire, but the band’s music is full of sincere emotion and detail, engaging the listener and dragging them into the plot. And, their sound is not without a fair amount of upbeat energy. Their forte definitely lies in storytelling through profound lyrics, expressive vocals and alluring accompanying harmonies. Long live the concept album! Long live Southeast Engine! 

Releases:
Albums: Coming to Terms with Gravity [2005], A Wheel Within A Wheel [2007], From the Forest to the Sea [2009], Canary [2011]

Resembles: Wilco, Okkervil River

Listen here:

Watch here:







Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blitz Kids: Alt. rock on steroids

Blitz Kids © Katie Anderson
Band: Blitz Kids
Origin: Crewe & Nantwich, UK
Genre: Alternative rock

“‘White-knuckle alt-rock’ that encourages you to take leave of your senses” (Last.fm) and “a schizophrenic force to be reckoned with ... the type of band that will have you headbanging, shaking your arse and singing along all in the same breath” (Rock Sound) – sound good? Well, that’s only two of the many good things being said about Blitz Kids. Well-known for full-throttle, in-your-face live performances, Blitz Kids are alt. rock on steroids. The band has been nominated for Best British Newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards 2011. Expect big things!

Releases:
Album: Vagrants & Vagabonds [2011]
Singles: Hold Fast

Resembles: Lostprophets, Alkaline Trio, The Dillinger Escape Plan

Listen here:

Watch here:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Songs

Ah, songs we are embarrassed to like, but can't help jamming to, giving a whole new meaning to *Blind* Blimp - our Top 10 Guilty Pleasure Songs:

The Hanson brothers, back in their day

10. Boomkat - The Wreckoning
9. Kesha (in general)
8. Billy Joel - A Matter of Trust
7. Martin Solveig - Hello
6. Damien Rice - Cannonball
5. Wheatus - A Little Respect
4. Avril Lavigne - Girlfriend
3. Alisha's Attic - I am I feel
2. Take That - Shine
1. Hanson - A Minute Without You

Now show us yours!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Black Keys - Brothers: A glass of crisp wine soothing down a Myprodol

Picture yourself in a smoky lounge. Large, comfortable couches are scattered haphazardly around the darkened room. A raised dais stands against a wall, lit by a single spotlight – the only bright light in the room. You are only dimly aware of the other patrons, all as focused on the band on stage as you are. There is barely a rustle from the room. Glasses are refilled, unnoticed, as the band plays.
This, my friends, is the picture that Grammy winning sixth album, Brothers, by the Black Keys paints in your mind. The unbridled cool of this band is simply undeniable. It makes you want to start talking in beatnik slang.

From beginning to end, Brothers is a work of art. It glides smoothly from one track to another, taking you on a blissful journey through your own passive mind. The first track, Everlasting Light, gets you in the perfect mood for what's to come – relaxed, at peace, the knowledge of good things in the future settling comfortably in your mind.

I know I'm pushing it a bit here, but Brothers really is like a crisp glass of wine soothing down a Myprodol or two. The happy is all-encompassing.

Tracks like Ten Cent Pistol and Unknown Brother drag you out of your happy stupor into a more Claptonesque area. Still undoubtedly cool, but of a darker kind. The joy, the joy.
The Black Keys are by far not a new thing, having put out six albums since 2002. Brothers, however, is the only album to make much of a stir. That isn't stopping me from plotting a retrospective purchase of everything this blues-rock duo has ever done. Bring on the blues.

For more on the Black Keys visit: www.theblackkeys.com or visit their myspace page at www.myspace.com/theblackkeys

Friday, April 29, 2011

Rye Rye: Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum

Rye Rye © StacyannLee.com
Band: Rye Rye
Origin: Baltimore, Maryland, US
Genre: Hip hop, pop, rap

A bit different from Blind Blimp’s usual band profiles, Rye Rye is firstly, not a band but a person – Ryeisha Berrain, an American rapper and dancer to be exact – and secondly she brings the hip hop pop, not the rock. She has been punted and mentored by the awesome M.I.A for a number of years and featured in a number of club hits. But Rye Rye has now dropped her debut album. Self-described as “unique and hard-hitting”, Rye Rye’s sound is inspired by her Baltimore club rap and dance style.

Rolling Stone described Bang as “gloriously showoffy”. Commercial, yes, hardcore, yes, distinctly likeable, yes, party music, hell yeah! Sunshine will get anyone moving, smiling and singing “Dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum, dum” no matter how pretentious and serious they are about their music! Or, maybe it's just me...

Releases:
Album: Go! Pop! Bang! [2011]
Singles: Shake it To The Ground (DJ Blaqstarr and Rye Rye), Tic Toc (Busy Signal featuring Rye Rye and M.I.A.), Bang (featuring M.I.A.), Sunshine (featuring M.I.A.)

Resembles: M.I.A

Listen here:

Bang Rye Rye feat MIA - [Fullsongs.net] by jadaS.

Watch here:



Monday, April 25, 2011

Travis Barker - Give the Drummer Some: No no no

Why in the name of Zeus' butthole would anyone let Travis Barker do ANYTHING unsupervised? Never mind brush his teeth or put his trousers on the right way around. Now he's made a (supposed) Hip Hop album? What is wrong with the world?
Blink 182 is not exactly the most hardcore of bands. Hell, they're not even the most hardcore of little-boy-punk-wannabe bands. They're a joke. At least when they started out they knew this. Now they want to be taken seriously and are off on their own missions, so we're stuck with the drummer in some sort of dream world where he's gangsta. Tattoos do not make you a gangsta. I have plenty, and I'm a lady.

Barker's tragic attempt (entitled Give the Drummer Some) is only marginally better than K-Fed's train wreck. It's embarrassing for everyone involved, since the man has managed to lure some pretty big names in Hip Hop to deliver lyrics for the tracks. 

Perhaps most tragic of all is the fact that he can't seem to shake the fact that he's a drummer, bringing it into lyrics, song titles and the title of the album. A departure this is not. It should be ignored, hidden, burned. But certainly not mar one's iPod playlist.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Young the Giant: You’ll want more

Young The Giant at North Star Bar, Philadelphia
© Destructive Compliments
Band: Young the Giant
Origin: California, US
Genre: Alternative rock

Super catchy rock, the first time I heard Young the Giant’s My Body on Tuks FM a while back, I was soon singing along to the chorus and couldn’t get it out of my head for the rest of the day. And it was a good thing. Described as “soaring, melodic rock ‘n’ roll that’s bound for greatness” on Last.fm, the band’s songs are upbeat anthems which are hard to ignore. Young the Giant’s giant choruses will have listeners addicted in no time. To quote My Body, “I want more!”

Releases:
Album: Young the Giant [2010]
Singles: My Body, Apartment

Resembles: The Killers, Crystal Skulls, My Morning Jacket, a touch of Mumford and Sons

Listen here:


Watch here:



Monday, April 18, 2011

Rise Against - Engame: Teeny angst and rockin' choons

Rise Against has hit album six and is going strong. Endgame, released on 15 March 2011, holds everything we have learned to expect from Rise Against. Heartfelt, angsty lyrics, heavy guitars and a lot to jump up and down to.
I've personally always felt that it's only Tim McIlrith's softer voice that has prevented Rise Against from entering the Hard Rock arena and left them relegated to Punk. Not that Punk is a problem.

True their Punk label, Rise Against is not afraid to show their political leanings, making a stand against homophobia in Make It Stop (September's Children) – a song written specifically in memory of the tragic suicides of homosexual teenagers in the US last year. Being a big supporter of the LGBT community myself, I can only respect this move. Especially considering that Rise Against is categorised in a genre of music that is not often lauded for its tolerance.

Politics aside, Endgame is a cracking album. It's a difficult task to pick out shining tracks, because they all shine. It's one long list of glittering nzimaness. Of course Make It Stop (September's Children) is close to my heart. Disparity by Design and This is Letting Go really get your blood pumping and your moshing feet jumping.

Endgame is another fantastic offering in a long line of genius, and one can only hope that there will be more of the same in the future.

For more on Rise Against, visit www.riseagainst.com.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Yuck: Tasty lo-fi rock

Yuck at Captains Rest, Glasgow
© Michael Gallacher twistyfoldy.net
Band: Yuck
Origin: London, England
Genre: Indie

Made up of Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom from London, former members of Cajun Dance Party, Jonny Rogoff from New Jersey, Mariko Doi from Japan and Ilana Blumberg, Daniel’s sister, Yuck is a multi-national band taking the world by storm. With elements of grunge in their sound and influenced by late ‘80s and ‘90s lo-fi, the band is making massive strides in England, especially on the live circuit, as well as getting rave reviews in America. Yuck featured in the BBC’s Sound of 2011 and has been described by Paste Magazine.com as “the best don’t-give-a-damn lo-fi guitar rock”.

Releases:
Album: Yuck [2011]
Singles: Rubber, Georgia, Holing Out, Get Away, The Wall

Resembles: Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Teenage Fanclub, J Mascis

Listen here:

Doctors In My Bed by Yuck

Watch here:





Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Top 10 Happy Dance songs


© Scott Ormerod
In honour of the original Blind Blimp team jetting off to Peru tomorrow, we give you our Top Ten Happy Dance tracks:

10. Wheezer - Island in the Sun
9. Wolfmother - White Feather
8. Supergrass - Alright
7. Ben Folds - Zak & Sara
6. Gorillaz - Dare
5. Blur - Song 2
4. Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
3. Kimya Dawson & Antsy Pants - Tree Hugger
2. Ben Kweller - Wasted & Ready
1. The Fratellis - Chelsea Dagger

*Happy dance*

p.s. not to fear, the blog is being left in the capable hands of one of our contributors, Andrea. Thanks Andrea! See you all in a month's time!

Monday, April 11, 2011

What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? - Joyous, fun, Ra Ra Ra!

I just can't get What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? out of my head. And this is a good thing.
The Vaccines are an old school Indie Britpop outfit that rather missed their period – having only formed in 2010. They would've fit right in with The Clash and The Ramones.
The debut album, What Did You Expect From the Vaccines? channels the post-colonial “WTF now?” mentality that is such a strong part of modern UK culture and makes me ache to get back to Reading for some dirty-rocker festival going.
Even though their sound is strongly derivative, it is still fresh and even soothing in spots.
The Vaccines have been through the wringer in the UK press, first lauded as the new coming, then hit with a massive backlash against their “priveleged” background, even before the album's release on 14 March 2011. Happily, here in SA, we missed the hype and can experience the album with fresh ears. I can't help but love it.
If You Wanna is a cheerful, energetic and cocky come-on; Wetsuit carries an element of nostalgia and hope and builds on itself well; while Norgaard speaks of rejection in an offhand, “next-please” kind of way. Even the 1 minute and 21 second first single Wreckin' Ball (Ra Ra Ra) tickles me to death.
If UK culture and Britpop is your thing (and it should be) you have to add this album to your collection.

For more on the Vaccines visit http://www.thevaccines.co.uk/za/home/

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mona: In your face awesome rock ‘n roll

Mona at KOKO in Camden, London ©Braden F
Band: Mona
Origin: Dayton, Ohio/Nashville, Tennessee
Genre: Alternative, rock





Bestowed the Brand New for 2011 title at the MTV Awards and appearing on the BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll, Mona have been receiving a lot of attention lately even though their debut album is yet to be released. The band, which was named after lead vocalist Nick Brown’s grandmother, self-produced their self-titled debut album which is due in May in their basement in Nashville, and it was mixed by producer Rich Costey (Foo Fighters, Muse, Arctic Monkeys).

Described by Rough Trade Shops as “romantic rock ‘n roll for city folk”, Mona’s sound is big, ballsy and the kinda stuff that would be amazing live. The rumour is that they are to be the next Kings of Leon and to be bigger than U2. I believe it.

To quote the blog on Mona’s website: “The only thing slick about Mona is their hair. The rest is arm-pumping, vein-throbbing, knee-jittering, raw-throated, singalong rock ‘n roll.”

Releases:
Debut album: Mona [16 May 2011] (available for preview and pre-order on iTunes)
Singles: Debut single “Listen to Your Love”; second single “Trouble on the Way”; third single “Teenager”

Resembles: Kings of Leon (their new stuff), Van Halen

Listen here:

Watch here:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dance, You’re on Fire: The next big thing

By Andrea Vermaak

I’ve seldom been wrong at predicting a great future for certain bands. Now I am telling you that the next big thing to watch out for is Dance, You’re on Fire. Currently on tour, promoting their debut album Secret Chiefs, the Joburg-based boys do not only have an album of top notch production quality, but they bring much needed, fresh energy and enthusiasm to the South African stage with their rock ‘n roll meets indie vibe.
Dance, You're on Fire being awfully sombre
Their relaxed, happy-go-lucky attitude, charm and sense of humour is present both on and off stage. They have a no pretense, no nonsense attitude. There is still a sense of humility and gratefulness that so many bands push aside and forget about too soon. It’s almost as if they don’t know how great they are and can be. My only hope is that they keep this attitude because then they will go even further than even I can predict.
Super enthused lead singer and guitarist, Tom Manners, has been likened to the voices of Panic! At The Disco and Fall Out Boy. And rightly so. But the boys describe their music as far more creative, yet still accessible. Their rocking second single, Boxes of Tigers is currently number five on the Tuks FM Top 30 and number two on The Sondag Tuks FM Most Wanted Listener Top 20.
Dance, You’re on Fire opened for aKING at Tings 'n Times in Pretoria on Friday, 1 April 2011. They had an excitable crowd dancing and singing along to not only Boxes of Tigers, but to their first single Blockade and title song Secret Chiefs. Their debut performance of Michelle added something sweet to sway to in their set of power guitar songs. Speaking of which, guitarist Adrian Erasmus is a seriously great guitarist of whom any other SA band should be jealous!
Secret Chiefs is currently available online at www.danceyoureonfire.co.za and at their gigs, as well as at certain music outlets in Gauteng. Secret Chiefs is going to be launched in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in early June this year. Next stop, the world! 
Tour dates are also available online. If Dance, You’re on Fire is performing in your area, you simply have to check them out! When they go big, as I predict, you can say that I told you so!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dead Alphabet: Bringing 70s American Punk into the new millennium

Dead Alphabet already has me thinking 'cool' with their name. It is strongly reminiscent of 70s American Punk and I love it. Awesome name ticked, Dead Alphabet's next step is to put together a downright impressive EP, The Kill.
The controlled but aggressive vocals of Adam Edwards remind me strongly of those of Joshua Homme. The accompaniment does not follow the jerky strains of Queens of the Stone Age, however. Dead Alphabet is more melodic, while still being well grungy and in-your-face.
The Kill, the first track on the EP is incredibly sexy, with fantastic guitar riffs that bring in the 70s rock once again. Eat you Alive, is energetic and angry. A fantastic moshy tune. I can't state with certainty that the 70s are an influence in Dead Alphabets life, but this era of raw, sincere and in-your-face rock comes through in Dead Alphabet tunes and I can only respect them for it. Of course their sound has been brought bang into the new century – no loserish throwback tracks for these boys.
I'm afraid that I promised the boys a visit to their gig last night, but missed it due to a rather heavy weekend and a desperate need of full-body hangover relief, but I don't doubt for a second that they are awesome. I didn't want to wait anymore to post this review, because the word must be spread – Dead Alphabet is the shiznizz. I can't wait to catch a gig when I'm not a zombie.
You can follow Dead Alphabet on Twitter for all the latest news (@DeadAlphabet), or join their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/DEADALPHABET?sk=info where you will find a link to the EP, The Kill. Do yourself a favour.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Broken Bells: Bringing the brilliance

Bootleg Theatre, Los Angeles Feb 2010
(CC) Andy Sternberg - andysternberg.com
Band: Broken Bells
Origin: Los Angeles, California, US
Genre: Indie rock











Formed in 2009, Broken Bells has already played Glastonbury and is planning its second album. This is not surprising considering that the band consists of musical marvels James Mercer from The Shins on vocals and guitar, and Brian Burton – better known as Danger Mouse – covering multiple instruments and production.
Described by the duo as “melodic, but experimental, too”, their sound is a perfect amalgamation of the two gentlemen’s separate brilliances. Broken Bells are brilliant. Expect big things!

Releases:
Debut album: Broken Bells [March 2010]
EP: Meyrin Fields [March 2011]

Resembles: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, The Shins, Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, Fleet Foxes

Listen here:


 October, Broken Bells by thalgyur

Watch here:

 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A new The View review: Yayness!

I still reach for The View's debut album, Hats off to the Buskers, when I need a bit of cheering up. Their special brand of pep and oddity never fails to lift my spirits. And they have brought it quite successfully to their third album, Bread and Circuses. (We do not speak of their second album, Which Bitch, which made almost no impact on the music scene at all.)
The band has matured a little since their first album, and this brings a new air of restraint to their choons, but the same old quirky joy is still there, as the energetic track Tragic Magic makes apparent. Blondie displays that quirk of lyric that comes so easily to The View. Who else would write, “I bring the tea to the table, but my cooking's always slow”?
Bread and Circuses doesn't veer much from the Hats off to the Buskers, formula, but I have no problem with that since the formula works so well.
Despite sticking to tried and tested principles, this album sounds more Americana than Britpop, as is most effectively demonstrated by Sunday – an oddly triumphant tune that would do nicely in the closing scene of a teen movie.
Bread and Circuses is more melodic, calmer and a little more melodramatic than The View's previous offerings, but it is executed perfectly. While Hats off to the Buskers was steeped in situations unique to British culture, Bread and Circuses deals with more universal issues.
I have to admit that I still prefer the exuberance of Hats off to the Buskers, but Bread and Circuses is an encouraging return to good old The View awesomeness.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fulka The Mystery of the Seven Stars album launch at Tings: Fun folks and fun folk

It was Wednesday and it was fun, fun, fun.

Fulka are just cool. From giving cupcakes to those buying their merch, hiding present packets with suckers and free cd downloads throughout the venue to lead singer Ola Kobak’s doll-like dance moves and the fact that the majority of the band can play the banjo, they exude awesome. However, it is not only this intrinsic charm that will see them – and has seen them – gaining massive popularity. Damn are the folks of Fulka talented!

Bubbly and sassy, Ola sings sweetly while a fusion of the folk and electronic sounds of the band surround her. Soon it’s time for the first instrument swop, one of many these multi-skilled kids pull off. Pretty, while at the same time punchy, Fulka’s songs are full of melody and melodramatics, with a hint of mystery. Simple yet distinctive and multifaceted, their sound is quiet but penetrating. Their album is beautifully produced and world class. It’s available for listening and download here: http://fulka.bandcamp.com/.

The only criticism I have is the lack of smoothness in their act. There were a couple of times where swopping instruments and tuning and microphone issues jarred the sleekness of their performance, but I have no doubt that this will soon be sorted, leaving a playful performance with credibility and class.

The equally talented Isochronous opened for Fulka, playing a tight acoustic set to an attentive and eager crowd which soaked in their polished progressive synth-rock sound gone raw while sitting cross-legged on the floor. Isochronous never disappoint, and when acoustic they add depth and flavour to their already well-rounded sound.